If you or your children are in immediate danger, always call 999 & ask for the Police during a violent incident
- Try to stay out of rooms where weapons are available or that can be locked
- If you are on good terms with a close neighbour, consider setting up a signalling system
- If you have a child who is old enough, talk to them so that they know it’s OK to run to a neighbour’s house or call the police if they think you or they are in danger.
- Practice how you, your children and your pets can get out the house safely and quickly.
- Plan ahead where you would go in an emergency or how to get to a safe place, try not to go to a place that the abuser knows and might follow.
- If the incident happens in public, ask people present to call the police by dialling 999
- Trust your judgment – there may be warning signs that you recognise. You have the right to protect yourself (and your children).
After an incident
- Get medical help if you or anyone else is injured.
- If you call the police on 999, they will usually arrest the abuser and take him or her away, if only for a short time, which could give you time to get to a safer place.
- If you decide that your abuser cannot be allowed back into your house, the police Bobby Van or housing association may be able to help with strengthening doors and windows.
- Phone a local support agency or a national helpline for advice and support.
Escaping violence and abuse
It's worth thinking now of what you might need should you decide to leave an abusive relationship in a hurry.
Pack an emergency bag and hide it in a safe place in case you need to leave quickly.
The following list is an idea of things you should pack and/or arrange if you’re thinking of leaving:
- Collect important paperwork; birth/marriage certificates, driving licences, benefit books, credit/store cards, anything you can think of and put them somewhere safe you can access them easily or give them to a friend for safekeeping
- Save money secretly whenever you can
- Find a secure place to go: friends, family, refuge
- Keep a supply of clothes and toiletries (including children's), hidden where you can get to them easily
- Make sure you have any medications, glasses or prescriptions you or your children may need
- Keep a spare set of house keys and car keys somewhere safe that you can access quickly
- Think about transport to get away - keep the number of a taxi firm and some cash handy
- Arrange a signal with a friend to let them know it is time to escape
- If possible go when your abuser is not around or create an excuse to slip away
- If you are taking children don't forget their favourite toy
Call the Police: you have the right to protection